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Norfolk MEP Stuart Agnew caught in same city as terror attack for second time in his career

PUBLISHED: 13:04 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:05 17 December 2018

Norfolk MEP Stuart Agnew, who was in Strasbourg on the day of the Christmas market shooting. Picture; Nick Butcher

Norfolk MEP Stuart Agnew, who was in Strasbourg on the day of the Christmas market shooting. Picture; Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A Norfolk farmer and member of European parliament has told how he was embroiled in a major terrorist attack for the second time in two years.

Stuart Agnew, a Ukip MEP for the Eastern region, was dining close to the Strasbourg Christmas market last week, when a gunman opened fire killing five people.

Mr Agnew, 69, who farms near Fakenham, said he was “around 300 yards as the crow flies” from the scene of the attack, but that until being text by a colleague was “completely oblivious” to it.

However, on leaving the restaurant he found it a different atmosphere.

He said: “It was quite bizarre, there was very little traffic and the trams weren’t running so it felt more like 3am than around 8pm.”

Unable to find a taxi, Mr Agnew then faced a five mile walk to his hotel, unaware the shooter had not been caught.

He added: “I also wasn’t aware the shooter was still at large, in my head I told myself that normally in these situations they are killed, so it honestly didn’t occur to me that they were still out there and could shoot me next.

“The atmosphere definitely had changed though, normally I do not have any difficulty getting lifts but nobody would stop or approach me, which I feel must have been the instruction.”

It was the second time Mr Agnew, whose office is based in Great Yarmouth, had been in the same city as a major terror incident, having been in Brussels during the twin bombings of 2016.

However, he said he was refusing to allow the incidents to affect him.

He said: “Like everybody in my lifestyle, I spend a lot of time in capital cities, where these type of things tend to happen, but the risk is no different to getting in a car, on a train or using the Eurostar.”

Mr Agnew, who currently farms near Fakenham, added: “To me, it feels no different to being in the car behind a crash - you think ‘that could have been me’ but you get that feeling anywhere. It is just another of life’s risk.”

“But why should I let these people change the way I go about my life?”

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